The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Wednesday that normal air traffic operations were resuming gradually in the United States after a nationwide system outage. Fox 4 reports the FAA said that the temporary grounding of all U.S. flight departures had been lifted, however, the number of domestic flight delays and cancellations continued to grow. The FAA stated that the cause of the initial problem is still being investigated.
The widespread outage impacted the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system, which sends out critical information to pilots and other flight operations personnel about potential hazards along a route. This includes information about construction at airports to urgent flight restrictions or broken equipment. All aircraft are required to route through the system, including commercial and military flights. Fox 4 reports that as a result of the issue, the FAA ordered all airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. Eastern Time to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information. President Joe Biden said that the Department of Transportation has been directed to investigate the cause of the disruption.
United Airlines and American Airlines said that they were closely monitoring the situation and would provide updates as they received more information from the FAA. European flights into the U.S. appeared to be largely unaffected, with Irish carrier Aer Lingus stating that its services to the U.S. would continue as scheduled, and Dublin Airport's website showing that its flights to Newark, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles were running on schedule. The FAA and other authorities continue to investigate the root cause of the outage and are working to ensure that the situation is resolved as soon as possible and minimize the impact on air travel.
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